I love cooking with a cast iron skillet. It is my absolute favorite pan in the kitchen arsenal. In fact, I rescued this one from under the kitchen sink when my parents moved out of this house. My Dad forgot to take it with him in a rush to move. About 6 months later I was scrounging around under the cabinets looking for something else and found it.
The poor thing was rusty in spots and just not in good shape. I scrubbed it with an SOS pad until all the ick was gone and started working on making it a good skillet again. It took some time to get it seasoned and to keep it that way. Lots of people have different ways of maintaining their cast iron, but this method has always worked for me and the pan has not gotten back to a dilapidated state.
Wipe out all of the excess grease or soft stuff in the pan. Dump anything you don’t want going down your drain into the trash.
Run hot water into the pan
Scrub with a soft brush (this is a potato brush) or a washcloth. Do not use steel wool, dish soap or scratcher pads on it. It won’t hurt it if you do, but it will strip the seasoning.
Use a dishtowel to wipe out excess moisture.
Reheat the skillet on your stove on high heat until all remaining moisture is gone.
If by chance you cleaned the seasoning off of the pan (It won’t be shiny), you can easily add new seasoning by swirling 1 tbsp of Olive Oil around on a warm pan until it’s throughly coated. If you take good care of these skillets, they will last a very long time. I remember my mother cooking with this when I was a small kid and it still looks great today!
Have you tried cast iron cookware? Do you like it?